THE MUSKINGUM RIVER VALLEY
Veterans of the American Revolution laid out the town of Marietta, respecting grand Adena and Hopewell remains: the cemetery centers on a beautiful mound and ring; the town’s library sits on one of three distinctive rectangular platform mounds. A broad avenue, now a park, follows an ancient graded way to the riverbank. A thriving downtown, plus beautiful residential and historic districts and some fine restaurants, make this a rewarding destination. The surrounding area is full of natural beauty and history.
Several attractive routes from Cincinnati, Chillicothe, or Columbus, lead through Athens to Marietta (see the Athens and Hocking Valley itinerary). From Athens, use US 50, or the somewhat more scenic State Route 550 farther north, to reach Marietta.
Marietta is a well-preserved river town, with many layers of history. When the veterans of the “Ohio Company” arrived with their families in 1788, the huge geometric earthworks were already 1500 or more years old. Several are still well preserved, and it is possible to take them all in via a leisurely walk or drive among beautiful houses, churches, and public buildings. Two excellent museums (Campus Martius and Ohio River) tell the stories of the town’s origins and settlers, and river transport. Trolley and steamboat tours, and a huge festival every September, highlight Marietta’s distinguished history and architecture.